A woman who was left in a “vegetative state” for more than 10 years has shocked medics after going into labour at a care facility.
The unnamed woman was a patient at the Hacienda HealthCare facility in Arizona in the US after she was left incapacitated after she nearly drowned more than a decade ago.
According to CBS News, the woman began moaning on December 29, with staff eventually delivering a healthy baby boy.
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Police are now investigating the case as a potential sexual assault, with an anonymous source telling the network that staff at the facility did not realise the woman was pregnant.
The source also implied sexual abuse had taken place after reporter Briana Whitney asked if the woman was physically capable of “defending herself” from an attack.
“No. None whatsoever. Not even able to communicate the fact that she was pregnant,” the female source claimed.
Hacienda HealthCare has refused to comment on the particular case, citing privacy laws and the ongoing police investigation, Jezebel reported.
“We can say that our patients and clients health and safety is our #1 priority and that we always co-operate, when asked by any agency, in an open and transparent way,” the statement reads.
The Arizona Department of Health Service and the Arizona Department of Economic Security have also released statements, with both organisations committing to full investigations into the incident and conditions at the Hacienda HealthCare facility.
The CBS News source also claimed the hospital had introduced a new rule since the shocking incident, with male staff members now banned from seeing a female patient without a female employee present.
A source told the Arizona’s Family network that staff were caught off guard by the shocking case.
“None of the staff were aware that she was pregnant until she was pretty much giving birth,” the source said.
“From what I’ve been told she was moaning. And they didn’t know what was wrong with her.
“There was a nurse that was there, and from what I’ve heard she’s the one that delivered the baby … From what I know the baby is alive, and the baby is healthy.”
The Hacienda HealthCare website claims to serve more than 2500 people each year as “the leading provider of specialised medical care and social services for Arizona’s infants, children and young adults who are medically fragile or chronically ill, including those with developmental disabilities.”
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